The Painting Rules

>> Tuesday, March 9, 2010

From time to time, over the course of my entire life, my household gets the brilliant idea to paint the inside of the house.

As I mentioned recently, we found ourselves in a situation where we needed to do an "emergency" painting of a bedroom on little notice. (Thank heavens for my mother, that's all I have to say about that.) During the course of this recent painting mass scramble, we decided the time has finally come to write down the most important rules of painting we have accumulated over the years.

First, we all agree that if God had meant mankind to be a painting species, we would all have been born with 8 foot long arms and a paint bucket stabilizer at our waistline.

Nonetheless, if you take these lessons to heart, even you will survive painting your entire house.

1. Paint is magnetically attracted to any spot on the floor that is not covered, no matter how microscopic. We strongly suspect there is a law of goofy-quark behavior involved.

2. Even in the most cramped and hard to see places, it is never a good idea to just stick the paint brush in and brush wildly about.

3. If you have the urge to paint randomly with a brush, remember the Karate Kid. He learned karate by painting. You can learn to paint by watching that movie.

Pets and paint can be very entertaining if you remember to have the right attitude, as evidenced by the following rules.

4. If paint is unable to find an uncovered spot on the floor to adhere to, it will attempt to use a small furry creature if one is passing by.

A few years back, Girl Cat came out of hiding to say hello to my mother in law while my father in law was painting our dining room ceiling. The only paint that fell from his brush that entire day was while Girl Cat was walking right below him. She promptly took said paint offering and ran it around the entire house, pausing to shake at least once in every room before being cornered for a bath.

5. Black, short-haired cats who shed very little can use their foreheads as paint brushes if they so choose.

Big Black Cat once watched Darling Husband for nearly an hour while Darling Husband was painting a wall sky blue. After we packed everything away and waited for the paint to dry, Big Black Cat marched out into the other room with a nice spot of blue paint on his forehead. We never did find where on the wall he bumped, so we concluded that his fur was sufficiently like a brush to not matter.

6. Orange cats that shed a lot should never be allowed near wet, damp, or even freshly washed painted walls. (I suspect this one is self-explanatory.)

7. There are places even the best ladders cannot go. Please accept this fact gracefully and move on.

8. Painting is more entertaining if you embrace the mess.

9. Books on CD/IPOD are helpful because they are quiet enough to talk over, but they do provide a distraction. A good tip is to try to remember to load up enough CDs so you don't have to change them with painty fingers.

10. Always check your socks and your posterior before leaving the painting environment.

11. Never answer the front door on painting day. No good can come of this.

12. Resist the urge to paint other people, even in jest, no matter how long you have been painting that day. No good can come of this either.

13. Understand that no painting job is complete without at least a sanding job, an electrical rewiring, or a major caulking.

14. No matter what the end result, you should feel free to blame any issues on the prior owners or the builders and their poor workmanship.

15. Each major repair has its own vocabulary. If you hear, "Well isn't that stupid," chances are you are overhearing an electrical problem. If you hear, "Oh, shoot," something has probably gone wrong with the paint. More strong words are often interchangeable.

16. The words, "Oh, woops!" or "Woopsie!" or "Uh oh," are never a good sign.

17. The most adventursome painters really need to add a toddler for full effect.

If you keep these simple rules in mind, your painting experience will be much more fulfilling.


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